British tourism recovering as we enter royal wedding year
Wednesday 5, January 2011
Britain will attract 300,000 more visitors in 2011 as confidence among overseas tourists continues to rise despite global financial uncertainties, VisitBritain predicts.
The number of inbound travellers is expected to be 30.0 million, a rise of 1%, in the coming year. The amount they spend in this country is set to increase by 2% in nominal terms to £17.2 billion, up £0.34 billion. This figure is considerably lower in real terms than the best year for inbound visitor spend (once adjusting for inflation) which remains 2006 with spending of £18.4bn at 2010 prices.
This gradually improving picture emerges in the latest foresight of future prospects by the national tourism agency. It shows that the global economic recovery is strong across much of Asia but it remains fragile in many parts of Europe and North America - two regions that account for 85% of all international visits to Britain.
That means pressure will grow on travellers’ disposable income during 2011, as global commodity prices rise and taxes increase in many parts of the world. On the positive side, the prolonged highly competitive value of sterling against a range of currencies including the euro and the dollar continues to make a trip to Britain very good value for European and American visitors in particular.
Inbound business trips to the UK also continue to regain some of the substantial amount of ground that was lost after the global economic crisis broke in summer 2008, rising 4% in the year to October 2010.
Britain is about to enter a period of exceptional opportunity for tourism marketing. The Royal Wedding in 2011, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 are a trio of exceptional events which will focus the world’s attention on Britain.
VisitBritain intends to leverage these events with the roll out of a global marketing campaign, match funded by the industry that will revitalise the image of Britain in the core markets of America and near Europe and build awareness of all Britain has to offer in developing tourism markets such as India and China.
In October 2010 we launched our £1.6 million ‘classic’ campaign with British Airways which will be running throughout early 2011. The promotion, aimed at VisitBritain’s most lucrative ‘Classic’ traditional tourism market, offers travellers powerful images of the diversity Britain has to offer - and shows how getting here has never been easier with good connectivity and value offers from British Airways.
VisitBritain is launching a campaign to promote Britain as a luxury holiday destination. Targeting the world’s wealthiest people with more than a million dollars to spare, a group that grew by 17.1 per cent in 2009 to 10 million, despite the economic downturn.
The Royal Wedding
The Royal Wedding on April 29 is tipped be one of the biggest events in TV broadcasting history. VisitBritain intends to capitalise on the worldwide interest in the Wedding to showcase the whole country. Prince William and Kate Middleton met at St Andrews University in Scotland, home to world class golf courses and beautiful beaches. They will spend the early days of their marriage in Anglesey, North Wales, the home of stunning landscapes and 125 miles of dramatic coastline, where William is stationed as an RAF pilot.
The 5th Annual British Tourism Week
This is a week-long series of activities that aims to raise awareness of the size and importance of Britain's £115 billion visitor economy, the fifth largest industry in the UK employing directly or indirectly around 2.6 million people.
The 2011 events will centre around an event to rally the nation’s most precious seaside attractions with a string of simultaneous parties hosted on seaside piers, harbours and jetties around the coast and on inland rivers, canals and lakes on Saturday 12th March.
The campaign comes in the wake of the tragic destruction of the historic 138-year-old Hastings Pier by fire. So far more than 30 piers across Britain have expressed an interest joining the ‘Party on The Pier’ celebrations making it one of the biggest linked parties ever held at different locations in Britain. Author, humourist and one-time Tory MP Gyles Brandreth, Patron of the National Piers Society, and a number of celebrities is due to take part. For more information visit www.britishtourismweek.com
What is VisitBritain doing with the industry?
VisitBritain continues business to business activities running trade missions in key developing markets across the world. ‘Destination Britain’ the major B2B event brings together UK suppliers with influential travel buyers (tour operators, travel agents and travel media) from across the Asia Pacific Middle East and Africa region.
Sandie Dawe, Chief Executive of VisitBritain said: “We are looking forward to an exciting and challenging 2011. The eyes of the world will be on Britain as we host the Royal Wedding and momentum will build as we near the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We plan to roll out our new campaign this Spring with our industry partners, inviting the world to visit Britain. Our aim is to get Britain on the radar of those who have never travelled here and also to reinvigorate our appeal in core markets such as the USA and near Europe.
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